SERVING LIFE OVER BOUNCED CHECK
In the 1990’s a close friend/business partner became uncontrollably addicted to cocaine. It consumed, ruined her life, destroying family ties, friendships. Her addiction resulted in her abduction by a violent dealer over her debt. I was contacted with a demand to show the dealer her parent’ house so his man could steal a bank bag (her mother was a banker) or he would kill her.
Being convinced of her abduction, peril, I complied; showing him the parents’ house. A 911 call foiled his plan. I was arrested with 2 of his men. The dealer and driver escaped arrest, never prosecuted.
My friend was released and fled. The dealer was later shot by rivals, execution style. The police, knowing my involvement (coerced by the dealer), prosecuted me as a principle, labeling me mastermind and tried me simultaneously.
My trial was rife with prosecutor misconduct, police perjury, misstatements of fact. My appointed attorney, a recent ex-prosecutor, was plagued by conflict, personal/financial relationship to the parents. Thankfully the parents suffered no injury. Since my decision to cooperate was wrong my only objection is the sentence imposed.
The sentencing laws, based on offense severity, degree of injury, prior record, required a sentence between probation and 7 years prison. However relying solely on my prior insufficient funds check convictions, the judge enhanced my sentence to life; essentially I’m serving life over a bounced check.
Prominent legal scholars, attorneys and advocates, reviewing my case file, all call my case a tragedy and miscarriage of justice but haven’t offered any solutions.
My sentence is currently under review by the Governor, my last resort. I can use all the support I can get.